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Bedtime battles Lock Rss

Good evening!

I'm after a bit of advice. My eldest is now 2 and has finally gone into his big boy bed. The novelty of sleeping in there has worn off and now it's just a boring old bed, no fun at all.

He has a sleep during the day (anywhere between 2.15 & 2.45pm) for up to 2.5 hours. I know this is a long sleep especially at that time of the day but I've tried bringing it back to 1pm but that was an epic fail.

The problem we've had over the last 6 weeks is when it comes to bedtime (8.30pm) it becomes a battle. He won't let anyone else put him to bed apart from me and we usually have a wee chat and song and then it's night night time and we need to be quiet. He will not sleep. At all. I've tried staying in the bed until he falls asleep (that's what he wants me to do) but I'll be lying there til about 10.30pm until he's actually asleep. I've tried the lying there for 10 minutes then kissing him good night etc then put him back to bed everytime he gets up but that usually ends in tears (me growling him and him throwing a tantrum) and as a last resort (I'm usually knackered by this stage) he ends up in our bed. Bad bad bad habit I know.

While I know he's going through a stage where he's starting to push the boundaries (terrible twos if you will) I'm starting to get a bit over the whole bedtime battles. I don't want to be the mean mummy that is constantly telling him off incase he goes to bed thinking mummy doesn't love him (*sigh* insane I know but it does cross my mind). I thought about trying to drop the daytime nap however by 3pm he's fast asleep on whatever surface he crashes out on.

My husband works nights so it's just me dealing with it all (however he's home weekends and got to see first hand the battle tonight). Has anyone got some tips/advice please? I would dearly love my evenings back. My youngest is nearly 9 months and goes to bed at 7.30pm so we have an hour of mummy/son time before bedtime. We haven't moved his room around (apart from taking his cot out) and it's the same routine every night.

Is 2 too young to do a reward chart?
I know how tough and frustrating it can be, I had to lay with my oldest every night till he was 4. He then decided that he was a big boy and no longer needed me to lay with him.
I know it's not much help but do what works for you and not what you think is right or wrong. If he goes to bed easier in your bed and your husband works nights then do that. You may be able to lift him back into his bed once he is asleep.
We did try to make him go to bed by himself but was to upsetting for everyone and was much easier to lay with him.
Some of the things we tried were
*special night lights
*audio stories
* going to do a job and coming back 5 mins later then going again
Good luck smile
I can imagine that would be tough, I know how much I love my nights to myself for a bit of time out from everything. If he is not ready to drop the day sleep have you tried waking him after a shorter time as that does make sense that he wouldnt be ready to go to sleep again if he has woken so late in the afternoon. So maybe he knows that he cant get to sleep and it probably feels like an eternity to him having to lie there on his own. My twins dropped their day sleep before turning 2, but on the 2 days they went to childcare they quite often slept and it was usually only an hour after lunch but this was enough to bring bedtime back by 1 1/2 hours. It made such a difference. Their bedtime has been 6pm since they dropped their sleep, In the beginning they used to get tired around 4 so we would do shower/.bath and that gave them a second wind to get through dinner and night routine. I was by myself for bedtime so it was never an option to lie in bed with them but that was my choice and something I was comfortable with. When we first went to beds though I had to sit with my daughter otherwise she was up and down and wouldnt settle and we were having a battle of wills. I had to do the sit in dark next to her and avoid eye contact/talking and put her back in bed every time she got up and finally nearly an hour later she gave up and went to sleep, took about a week or so till I was out the door and she was going to sleep straight away. We also had night lights, music, special toy in bed. But I found that once the day sleep was gone everything really fell into place easily. Could you try having quiet activities in room after lunch and if falls asleep then it may not impact night so much or just reducing time? You may find that he may still want you to lie with him till he falls asleep and if this works for you then do it, and he may go to sleep quicker if hes tired.
I agree with Kazzzav. It sounds like he's waking up too late from his nap to be tired at bed time.

I had a similar experience with my DS who is nearly 2.5, however we all go to bed at the same time due to DH having a demanding job so he has no choice but go to sleep. I make sure DS doesn't nap past 3.30pm at the latest otherwise he's just not tired at bed time. It's hard when they do still need a nap but don't want to sleep, especially when you also have other children to look after. We always read books to DS at bed time or look at photos/videso on the iphone as he loves this routine and we lie down with him as he loves a cuddle.
The only other thing I could suggest is to try and tire him out properly during the day so that he's tired for his nap earlier?
I definitely wouldn't bother with a reward chart as that doesn't accomplish anything in my opinion. You want him to want to go to bed, and not to do it just to please you.
Good luck and try to be kind and patient with him. It is just a phase and hopefully you can work through it and find a method that works for you.
Thanks everyone for your responses. My husband and I are sitting here reading them saying 'thank god others have gone through it!!'

I agree that a reward chart is kind of pointless. Especially at this age. For doing tasks like picking up his toys and setting the table then yes a reward chart is good but for going to bed and staying in there I don't think it's particularly nice.

We're taking the boys for a big walk tomorrow (heres hoping the rain holds off) to try and wear him out. I'll start waking him after 1.5 hours when he's napping so he doesn't sleep too long during the afternoon and to make him more tired in the evening.

At this stage since it's just me dealing with it in the evenings I think putting him in our bed to sleep might be the best option. I'm naughty, I know that some people completely disagree with doing this but I do love the cuddles smile

Who said being a parent was easy eh?
This worked out for me... Set a bedtime routine. Keep it short and simple, such as a bath, a nappy change then into her pyjamas, and a story or song. You could also try massaging your baby. Finish the bedtime ritual in your baby's bedroom and make sure that her room is a pleasant place to be. This routine should last no longer than 45 minutes.

Give her a security object, such as a baby blanket or stuffed animal. Keep it near you for a while so it becomes mum-scented. If you are breastfeeding, you could try expressing some breast milk on a small piece of muslin. Babies have a strong sense of smell, and when she startles awake, the smell of you will calm her down.

Feeding your baby with safe and quality equipment that she is comfortable with can also help. Mine had been so, all she need is her baby bottle, it has sleeves that attracts and keeps her comfy through a night sleep, my brand was Cherub baby.
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